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Author Topic: too many mics?  (Read 6042 times)

Mark Waters

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too many mics?
« on: October 08, 2004, 05:11:04 pm »

Hey, I'm new here,
I was recently asked to help join the sound team at a local church,  I was asked because I really have more experience than the guys already there.  Which isn't saying much at all!!  One thing that has been bugging me about the sound is that the choir has only 25 people in it on 4 rows.  But they have three booms with two AT 3035 a peice on them.  Now am I really off or is 6 mics spaced 4 feet apart for only 20-25 people a little over kill?  And it really doesn't sound good in the congregation.  But the rest of the sound is amazing.  They have a really nice Bose system.  So if I am right, how do I go about suggesting change without stepping on toes?  Thanks a lot.

P.S. I should say that the acoustics of the church are pretty good, and they don't need to much amplification.
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Bill Gruber

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2004, 11:03:02 pm »

I would probably add only one mic.  I'd aim them in the center of the four parts(soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and place the best singer in front of the mics.  I've used this setup on choir up to 60 people with good results.

-Bill Gruber

p.s. this topic is probably better suited for the lounge
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Brad Duryea

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2004, 12:12:10 am »

Monty,

Six microphones is overkill for that size of choir. You are probably experiencing a nasty effect called comb filtering where, in this case, several microphones are picking up the same sound with slightly different arrival times. When those signals combine at your mixer the result is a degredation of sound quality. In other words, less is more. Try turning off all but one or two during a sound check and compare.

You may find it helpful to observe the 3:1 rule: the distance between two microphones should be at least three times the distance from the microphones to the sources. This is just a guideline but it is helpful to prevent comb filtering. And, of course, it doesn't apply to coincident microphone techniques for stereo imaging.

Best regards,
Brad
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Brad Duryea (brad@dmgsystems.net)
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Mark Waters

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2004, 12:20:32 pm »

yeah, I had a feeling that the nasty sound was phasing problems, but I have never heard phasing out of the studio before.  And sorry about the posting location, I am new here.  
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Scott Fahy

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2004, 04:56:45 pm »

Monty,

Our choir has about 75 to 90 people and we are using 3 sets of stereo mics on them (Audio Technica AE5100). With 25 people I would try 1 stereo mic in an X/Y configuration and see how it sounds.  One of the things I tell people is to stand in front of the choir and see how they sound acoustically then place the mics accordingly

Scott
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Jon Martin

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2004, 01:53:25 am »

Excellent post Brad.

One could point to a certain canadian power trio who were up to 100+ inputs a couple of years ago...we all know where that road went too. Rolling Eyes

Should I mark that channel "high heat" or "fluff dry"?
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Brad Duryea

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2004, 02:12:30 am »

Triple-J wrote on Sun, 10 October 2004 00:53

Excellent post Brad.

One could point to a certain canadian power trio who were up to 100+ inputs a couple of years ago...we all know where that road went too. Rolling Eyes

Should I mark that channel "high heat" or "fluff dry"?


Yeah, but running over 100 channels really gets the chicks. "That's right, baby, I can mix 112 inputs."  Cool

Thanks for the compliment.

Best regards,
Brad
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Brad Duryea (brad@dmgsystems.net)
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Alan Hamilton

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2004, 12:37:01 pm »

Triple-J wrote on Sun, 10 October 2004 06:53

Excellent post Brad.

One could point to a certain canadian power trio who were up to 100+ inputs a couple of years ago...we all know where that road went too. Rolling Eyes

Should I mark that channel "high heat" or "fluff dry"?


I wonder how many mics are used in that one church... the Temple of Syrinx?

Razz

-AlanH
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2004, 12:51:30 pm »

I recall one church that gave every member of the choir individual hand held mics. They had to stack up two 36 input consoles, but they were very pleased with the sound they got. Can you say proximity effect? There may be a hybrid approach where hand-helds are selectively given to the baritone singers.

It also gave them the ability to let church members who can't sing join the choir  Smile

JR  
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Andy Peters

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2004, 02:59:31 pm »

AlanH wrote on Sun, 10 October 2004 09:37

Triple-J wrote on Sun, 10 October 2004 06:53

Excellent post Brad.

One could point to a certain canadian power trio who were up to 100+ inputs a couple of years ago...we all know where that road went too. Rolling Eyes

Should I mark that channel "high heat" or "fluff dry"?


I wonder how many mics are used in that one church... the Temple of Syrinx?


Obviously, 112 channels are well beyond the reach of The Working Man...

-a
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Alan Hamilton

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2004, 05:20:04 pm »

Andy Peters wrote on Sun, 10 October 2004 19:59

AlanH wrote on Sun, 10 October 2004 09:37

Triple-J wrote on Sun, 10 October 2004 06:53

Excellent post Brad.

One could point to a certain canadian power trio who were up to 100+ inputs a couple of years ago...we all know where that road went too. Rolling Eyes

Should I mark that channel "high heat" or "fluff dry"?


I wonder how many mics are used in that one church... the Temple of Syrinx?


Obviously, 112 channels are well beyond the reach of The Working Man...

-a



Ahhhhh true... But all bets are off if you have The Big Money...!!

Me? I'm still Finding My Way...

Very Happy

-AlanH


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havard

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2004, 08:41:35 pm »

JR wrote on Sun, 10 October 2004 17:51

I recall one church that gave every member of the choir individual hand held mics. They had to stack up two 36 input consoles, but they were very pleased with the sound they got. Can you say proximity effect? There may be a hybrid approach where hand-helds are selectively given to the baritone singers.


JR  


I've tried that "hybrid approach" a few times, never got it sounding all right. The ones with handhelds don't get that "airy" sound, so they really stand out. So i prefere using only handhelds, or only overheads.

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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2004, 08:48:29 pm »

Thanks... I was just thinking out loud and not speaking from experience.

JR
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Charles Johnson

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2004, 12:55:51 am »

Scott Fahy wrote on Sat, 09 October 2004 16:56


One of the things I tell people is to stand in front of the choir and see how they sound acoustically then place the mics accordingly



Scott,

The only problem with that approach is that you might end up not mic'ing the choir at all Wink Very Happy

Charles Johnson
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Dave Mallon

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Re: too many mics? - My Question / Situation
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2004, 08:02:47 am »

My situation is this:

New choir of 12-15 members.  They do not / cannot project at all.  We have tried 1 & 2 condenser mics, virtually no sound coming through from choir.

Last sunday, tried 7 sm58s (that's all we had left) choir mic'd in pairs or individually.  This was slightly better but still could not be heard over the band clearly at all...

Do I try micing them with cheap (but reasonable quality) condensor mics for each pair (say c1000 or equivalent)??  I would mic them really quite closely to try and avoid any interference.

Could this work or is the experiment doomed to fail before I even get the mic out of the box...?

Your thoughts would be appreciated - I'm fed up with the "I couldn't hear the choir" comments...

Cheers.

Dave Mallon
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George Blun

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Re: too many mics? - My Question / Situation
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2004, 08:23:55 am »

I would say that your experiment is doomed to failure. Trying to mic two people with one mic never works. You generally only get one of the two people if you get either one of them at all. To pick up multiple people with one mic you need to use the area mic approach.

Remember, you are fighting a lame duck. You cannot amplify what isn’t there. If the choir isn’t projecting you cannot acquire their sound. Would you try to light your entire sanctuary with a mini mag flashlight? No you need an ample amount of light to light the sanctuary. Same goes for the choir. You need an ample amount of projection from them in order for you to get a usable sound into the microphones.

You may want to have a gentle discussion about this problem with the choir director. Hopefully the choir director can encourage the choir to project.
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Rob Warren

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Re: too many mics?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2004, 05:40:12 pm »

Monty,
Yes, you are using way too many mics.  2 great quality condensers should be maximun number of mics.  Anyway, here is something to try.  
  When I first came on staff at my church a year ago they had 3 booms with one mic on each boom.  I knew that was at least 1 mic too much.  Well instead of fighting this politically and all that junk, I just scooted the 2 outside booms slightly closer to the center boom and I muted the center boom on my console.  This way all 3 mics are still up there (at least visible) but only the outer 2 mics are actually on.  Nobody is the wiser and I was able to put the console EQ practically flat instead of cutting out bass and mids.  (which you can imagine cutting bass and mids not real good for the baritones)
  By the way,  25 people I would think it would be better to make each row longer and only have 2 or 3 rows of people NOT 4.  
  Anyway, try and just mute some mics on the console and see if you can boost just a couple and EQ accordingly.  This just may work out fine.  The 3035 should be an adequate mic I've heard these before.  

Rob
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Rob

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: too many mics?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2004, 05:40:12 pm »


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